Adams County sheriff's deputies responded to the Tanner Gun Show at the Denver Merchandise Mart at Interstate 25 and East 58th Avenue about 2 p.m. after a man was shot in the upper torso.
Investigators interviewed "numerous witnesses," the gun's vendor and the "person holding the gun at the time of the discharge," Sgt. Candi Baker with the Adams County Sheriff's Office said.
"They were just looking at a gun," Baker said.
Russ Huntley, who was at the gun show Saturday, told 9News he had heard someone had been shot in the shoulder and "there was blood all over the floor."
The Tanner Gun Show bills itself as the state's largest gun show, with 700 tables displaying guns, knives, ammunition, reloading equipment, military surplus, and hunting and fishing gear. The show, which drew complaints in 1999 when three guns bought there were used by Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris in the Columbine High School shooting, has run in some form since 1964.
Zorro keeps asking me why I feel reporting these incidents as "accidents" favors the pro-gun side. Well, when we say "the gun accidentally went off," or the guy was "just looking at it when it went off," or "he was holding it at the time of the discharge," I say you're using words which minimize the responsibility of the shooter.
I especially object to this because the same gun rights activists who use wording like this are the first to accuse gun control folks of fearing inanimate objects and giving too much power to "just another tool."
Wouldn't it be more accurate to say "the man who was looking at the weapon, obviously had his finger on the trigger and negligently fired the gun?" Or, how about, "although the stupidity of the gun seller in handing a loaded gun to the customer is unbelievable, the customer who shot himself failed to treat the gun as loaded - Rule number 1."
Of course we'll hear the old infrequency rationale. That's why these things make the news, after all.
It's not the first time there's been a shooting at or around the show.
In March 2008, a 64-year-old Littleton man accidentally shot himself in the stomach with .38-caliber handgun in the mart's parking lot.
The show's website says it is illegal to have loaded guns inside the show. Security personnel disable most guns, looping zip ties through gun chambers.
There's that word again, "accidentally." "Stupidly and negligently" would be more accurate, don't you think? This means that two incidents are known to the writer, but do you think there might have been others? Do you think there might have been any number of them which resulted in minor injuries or no injuries at all? I would say yes, indeed. Do you think this is just part of the deal? Is this the price we have to pay for freedom?
What about those security guard who "disable most guns?" Do you believe that nonsense? The show's website says so, but in reality do you think the self-respecting gun owners would allow such a thing? I really can't picture it.
And finally, lest we forget why this gun show is one of the most famous in the world, this is where the Columbine shooters got their weapons. Shame on the people who run this thing. Shame on the private sellers who profit from the sick business of selling guns to people who shouldn't have them. And most of all shame on all of you who support that pernicious laxity in the gun laws of America. Shame on you.